Video games, virtual reality and augmented reality have incredible potential to transform the hospital environment.
The Child and Family Life team at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is committed to enhancing the patient experience and supporting healing through creative use of gaming and a wide range of emerging technology platforms.
Gaming and VR offer a number of benefits to patients, including:
- Encouraging fine motor movement, problem solving and critical thinking
- Facilitating cooperative game play to encourage socialization and normalization
- Reducing isolation from friends and family outside the hospital through online gaming
Our digital endeavors are constantly evolving with technology and patient feedback.
Select current initiatives include:
- In-room gaming: Most patient rooms in the hospital are equipped with Xbox 360 systems. In addition, the hospital has a mobile game karts available in activity rooms and a library of games available.
- Volunteer gamers and game developers: Volunteers play games with patients and help them build their own games, ranging from simple games that can be created in an hour to complex games that are designed and built over multiple sessions.
- Lego and robotics – Our staff uses customized Lego robotics kits to help keep patients’ minds busy during hospital stays, while teaching basic coding and educational skills.
- Virtual reality: We use virtual reality technology to help patients experience a world that may sometimes feel out of reach. Patients can experience scuba diving, explore rain forests, ride roller coasters and run down the tunnel onto the field at Michigan Stadium. We even have a 360-degree video where patients can explore the inside of an ambulance. Custom-designed VR viewers are available for patients to support their adventures in the virtual world from their own hospital room.
- Augmented reality: Augmented reality brings together the virtual world with the real world. Our team uses augmented reality to bring books to life and capture Pokemon.
Our therapeutic gaming and digital experience programs have garnered the attention of media around the world:
- Here’s What Virtual Reality Means For Kids Stuck In The Hospital (Tech Crunch)
- Hospital Walls Disappear into Virtual Reality for Young Patients (NBC Nightly News)
- Advocating VR and gaming in hospitals (SXSW blog)
- Children’s hospital using Pokemon Go to get patients out of bed (USA Today)
- The charity that wants video game karts in every hospital (Engadget)
Check out our videos demonstrating the healing power of gaming and VR:
- Oculus Rift takes sick kids beyond the hospital
- Kids in the hospital use the HTC Vive virtual reality system
- Opening the door to a virtual world for sick kids: The Harbaugh Fund
- Pokemon GO at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
For more information about our therapeutic gaming and VR/AR programs, contact our patient technology coordinator.
Thank you to our many partners who work with us to create transformative experiences for our patients, including: Game Start, Gamer’s Outreach, Child’s Play Charity, Game Changer Charity, SpellBound, Valve, The Eric Hartwell Foundation, Mott Golf Classic and The Harbaugh Fund.